Who doesn’t want better movement? the ability to move more fluidly, faster and with extra dynamism. Recently I have been trying to develop different ways with myself and clients to improve movement in general. This has a couple benefits:
People feel better in everyday life
Performance is Improved (competitive or pickup sports)
Training is more fun
Stabilising Muscles get Stronger and Prevent Injury
The best way to focus on movement when training I find is to train outdoors . This allows for improvised and dynamic training with sprints, changes of direction and free space to take advantage of, all improving the efficiency of training.
I know that moving more freely is something we can all benefit from so here are a few ideas and methods you can implement into your training to achieve those goals……
Multi-Directional Running - This is the most important one as its the key to better movement when it comes to training. Simple set aside a few 1 minute rounds in which you; Run Backwards, Skip Sideways, Run Diagonally and Sprint Forward. Do about 10 seconds of each and keep in random, practice changes of direction and most importantly have fun with it.
Jumping -Plyometrics are great and jumping is a great way to build explosive power and the stabilising muscles in your hips and knees. Find a platform or a ledge that is stable and practice jumping up to it with as much force and explosively as you can, repeat until your legs lose their spring/power.
Sports - Not really a training method but the importance of playing a sport, whether it be Football, Tennis , Squash, or Snow-sports is hugely underrated when it comes to better movement. Not only are sports a fun way to exercise that promote social activity but they work the body in several angles forcing you to move dynamically and in 3D planes without you even realising – Racquet sports seem to be especially effective at this.
Flexibility and Mobility - Have a look at these posts on Stretching and Joint Mobility . If you want better movement its imperative your muscles are flexible and joint are healthy. Make them both a regular part of your routine.
Functional Exercises – This goes back to working the key muscles in the body with compound movements. Things like Squats, Lunges, Dips, Chin-ups, Pushups and Pressing/Pulling movements are great functional movements that can be done in the gym with weights or thrown into movement sessions done outdoors without equipment. Keep the form strict and embrace the core for extra effect.
Core Strength - A good core will come with the above practices but it will only ever develop to a certain extent. To maximise your potential with movement I feel it is important to emphasise a few static core exercises like: The Plank , Bird-dog and Ab Wheel Rollouts . These are not only abdominal builders but work the core deep and even include the lower back. This gives stability to move in different planes and change direction with ease which requires a good level of core strength.
Setup a training program that works all these areas you will find that not only movement will improve drastically but you will feel better. Posture will improve as will the energy flow in your body. Movement should be something that is taken into account when training as without proper movement what use is all that time spent in the gym or working out?